13 March 2012

Humble Beginnings

Sometime in the past year, I met a very inspiring woman who told me the stories of her "humble beginnings" as a military spouse. This woman is the owner and president of a successful, booming government contract company. Her husband, a service-disabled veteran, is the CEO. They have a beautiful family, a beautiful home, and they are good to their employees. She shared hilarious stories of their first duty station with Husband and I, and memories from their first years together as newlyweds. And seriously? She's definitely my most real role model.

I've now come to love that term, humble beginnings. These are our humble beginnings. Sometimes I get frustrated, seeing how far ahead of us other couples are, especially the ones that are close to us in age. I get jealous that they have so much, or have accomplished so much, and I wish we were there too. But I am slowly acquiring the patience and wisdom to sit back and tell myself— STOP. Those are not your humble beginnings, that is not your story. You're living your story your way, and you're doing the best you can. In the end, that's all you can really do or say, right?

Husband and I don't have a lot of extra money, but we work really, really hard. We never air our dirty laundry in public. We try to never fight in front of other people— it's so tacky. We don't own a home, and we have two car payments. Aside from our beds & our desks, all of our furniture is hand-me-downs from my family... beautiful & solid hand-me-downs, because my family has exquisite taste, but hand-me-downs nonetheless. We have big goals and bigger dreams. Sometimes, we drive through neighborhoods with big houses, pick out the ones we wish could be ours, and say, "Oh look, there's our house. Honey, did you leave the light on?"

Our china cabinet is filled with an assortment of sparkly new crystal from our wedding and family heirlooms from both sides of our family. We've discovered that martini glasses should not be left in the freezer door to chill, because we've each broken a beautiful new martini glass from swinging the freezer door open too fast. We're down to two.

We're struggling with this work-life-love balance... but we're strongest in the love department. Never-ending, unconditional love for each other. Work and life? That balance is hit or miss. One week we'll both excel at work and let the house become a mess and eat take-out every night. Another, we're struggling to get out of bed in the morning after staying up late cleaning, watching movies, or feasting on trial & error home-cooked meals from the previous evening.

We're learning things together— big and little life lessons. Like, did you know you have to put the Christmas tree in water right away, not 2 days later? Yeah. Learned that one quick. Or that hanging pictures & wall art can be pretty easy, as long as you have the right tools? That mice in kitchen pantries even show up in the cleanest of houses, and that Tupperware can be a great investment? We know that Husband doesn't mind vacuuming, while I prefer to mop. He'll take out the garbage, and I'll clean the toilets. Washing dishes is a chore we divide up, because we both hate doing them. Laundry? Joshua does his weekly. I'm lucky if I get to mine once a month.

Sundays are always reserved for military haircuts and picking up the newspaper for coupons. Sometimes, Husband's hair doesn't come out as he likes it and he gets upset. Some days, the paper doesn't have any coupons & I get upset. On random occasions, he just shaves his hair off at home & we forget all about getting the paper.

Mondays are for $5 burritos at Moes. Our love for burritos began long before our marriage, and it's kind of our thing. On his last deployment to Afghanistan, I waited a whole 7 months before having a burrito, because it didn't seem fair to have one without him, when he couldn't. We love our Moe Mondays.

The best part of every day is when we finally get into our comfy, pillow-top, queen-sized bed together, Husband on his back, my head on his chest, Lady by our pillows or feet. We set our alarms for work the next day, kiss each other goodnight, and off to sleep we go.

These are our humble beginnings.

09 March 2012

Life in the Fast Lane!

So. I realize I have totally been absent from my blog. I swear, it wasn't planned. I had quite the opposite planned (lots of ideas I was so excited to post).

But then, you know... life happened. An opportunity came up for a new job at a new company, and on a whim, I applied. A couple of days later, I had an interview. A couple days after that, I was offered the job. 24 hours later, I accepted. It was a tough choice to make, because I loved the company I was with so very much. Designing with the creative team to support military Quality of Life programs for the Department of Defense was incredibly awesome, not to mention... so were the people I worked with. And that's hard to find, you know?

I gave my 2 weeks notice and began to mentally prepare for a new job, new people, new responsibilities, and new location. I started wrapping up my design projects and handing things over to my boss to delegate. Meanwhile, things were stirring up at my current job. A mere three days before my last day there, a new job was posted with the company— a job for a Social Media Strategist. Of course, I was immediately interested. I mean, to start, I love this company. Secondly, social media? I've been interested in social media since I was old enough to have my own screen name for a chat room. (A/S/L, anyone?) I remember at my previous job in New York, learning of such a thing as a social media position and being so jealous, thinking... "Wow. That sounds so cool."

As for experience, well... I probably had my first taste of social media in those chat rooms and online message boards at around 14 years old. I'm 26. So that's 10+ years of experience using it on a personal level. Add in the social media presence I built from the ground up for my freelance business, as well as this blog you are currently reading, and... I suddenly had myself a list of qualifications to bring to the table. 

Needless to say, I knew I had to apply. With the encouragement of a couple of close friends, I prepared myself for the interview. Ironically enough, it was the same day as my exit interview. I felt like I was cheating on someone. My new job? My old position? I don't know.

Okay. We're down to a mere 2 days before I was to start the new job. A couple of others from my company had also applied for the Social Media position, and I was freaking out. I wanted it. It was getting so close though... I couldn't leave things with the new job like that, whether it was letting them know last minute that I wouldn't be starting OR starting and wishing I was elsewhere.

And then... I was offered the position. [insert halleluiah chorus here] I immediately accepted, then immediately called the new job and explained things to them. They were so gracious. They told me congratulations, and to contact them in the future if things didn't work out or I was looking for something different. [insert hell yeah! here]

I am now a Social Media Strategist by day, and graphic designer by night. Woot woot! Best of both worlds. I've been in my new position for about a week and a half now, and I'm learning the ropes. I'm being trained on new types of social media I had little-to-no experience with, and I'm giving input and providing graphic support for things I know plenty about. It's so fun.

To conclude, my dear friends... that is where I have been and why I haven't been blogging. It's been an emotional roller coaster, and I'm so happy things are finally leveling out! Yay for that.